1. Load Up on Carbohydrates
There are a few simple nutrition strategies that can reduce muscle soreness and speed up recovery after a tough workout.
My absolute favorite is tart cherry juice. Tart cherry juice reduces inflammation associate with delayed onset muscle soreness DOMS. Add 4 ounces to your bedtime routine because it also raises melatonin levels, a hormone that supports sleep. The stronger you are, the easier it is to keep going. Adding a high-quality protein source post-workout can help to accelerate the repair of damaged tissue that goes along with pushing it.
Think nuts, seeds, and salmon here. The amount of protein you need depends on the type of exercise you are doing. Endurance athletes should toss in a generous portion of carbs, too. Okay, we all know how frustrating it can be to launch into exercise only to jump on the scale and see the number going up.
Exercise can be a stress on the body, particularly if you haven't been active in a while. Keep your immune system healthy by adding probiotic-rich foods. The best source of immune-boosting foods are fermented foods like kimchi, kombucha, kefir, and unsweetened Greek yogurt. Put fuel into your body when your body needs it most. If you're working out first thing in the morning If your workout is mid-afternoon, eat a well-balanced lunch and then a good recovery dinner. Stop eating an hour before your workout for digestion.
Ideally the big meals would be three hours before and within the first three hours after a workout. Functional foods are foods that support and encourage athleticism. Some of my favorites are eggs, cinnamon, and turmeric. Eggs are an excellent protein source to speed muscle repair , cinnamon helps to balance blood sugar levels , and turmeric is rich in anti-inflammatory properties. Reload on carbohydrates after intensive exercise, too. But you need it to maintain your muscles.
Know what you need. The average person needs 1. That's about 88 grams of protein for a pound person. A strength athlete may need up to 1. That's about grams of protein for a pound athlete. Getting too much protein can put a strain on your kidneys. Instead of protein supplements , eat high-quality protein, such as lean meats, fish, poultry, nuts, beans, eggs, or milk.
Milk also has both casein and whey protein. The combination may be particularly helpful for athletes. Research shows that whey protein is absorbed quickly, which can help speed recovery immediately after an event. Casein is digested more slowly, helping to ensure long-term recovery of muscle after a grueling event.
Milk also has calcium , which is important for maintaining strong bones. Go Easy on Fat For long events, such as marathons, your body turns to fat for energy when carbohydrate sources run low. Avoid fatty foods on the day of an event, since they can upset your stomach. Eat More Whole Plants. Sharon Palmer, RDN, The Plant-Powered Dietitian and author of Plant-Powered for Life says that "no matter what your eating style, you can gain more health benefits by filling up your plate with at least three-fourths plant foods, such as beans, lentils, whole grains, like quinoa, brown rice, and farro; vegetables, and fruits.
Plus this eating pattern is better for the planet, too. For example, have you ever eaten a fruit and still felt hungry? Add some peanut butter, almond butter, nuts, cheese, or yogurt to the fruit and you are a happy camper.
When it comes to food combinations, an easy rule of thumb is to remember to eat at least 2 food groups for a hearty, satisfying snack. I am able to ask them what is in store for the day and make sure they leave my house with their bellies filled with a nutritious breakfast and a smile on their face.
Have A Plan of Action. Monthly Meal Plans Made Simple recommends that you look at your kitchen, see what you have on hand, and plan what you need to get. A well-stocked pantry also helps with last-minute meals at a moment's notice. You don't need to keep a lot of food on hand, just the right food on hand to produce balanced meals, meaning proteins, vegetables and whole grains.
Broth, dried herbs and spices, a couple oils and a few vinegars also boost flavor. Store those meals in the refrigerator so that you and your family can just reheat, eat and go.
Get Real with Your Food.